Sustainable Wood

forest007We worry about a lot of things at Bordercraft. Top of our agenda is, as manufactures of hardwood products, the quality and sustainability of our timber sources. Like most industries whose livelihood depends on natural resources this is more like enlightened self-interest than simply trying to keep the public on side. If our timber sources run out, so do we!

The primary method that we use to ensure our wood is sustainable is the source of timber we select. This source must take the issue of environmental protection seriously. Every country whom have major sources of commercial grade hardwood also have ways to protect those same sources. It would be unfair to single any country out as being ineffective as dealing with illegal logging; but it is fair to say all countries deal with this important issue differently.

The base measurement for sustainability is the ratio of tree growth to removal. In many countries this is measured simply by comparing adult trees to those they cut down. How does one know an adult tree? The international standard is measuring the DBH, or “Diameter at Breast Height”! This largely historic measurement has now been standardised to mean the diameter of the tree at 1.4 meters from the ground.

If the number of adult trees that are ready for logging reduces in ratio to the number of felled trees then a timber source can, very broadly, be said to be “unsustainable”. A healthy hardwood timber source will very often be able to show that the number adult trees (“saw timber”) growing in ratio to the number of felled trees. Simply put, the forest is getting bigger, not smaller! The issue of sustainability is more complex than being simply environmental. There are also economic and social factors at play. This excellent infographic shows that often deforestation has an impact on indigenous populations of both humans and wildlife. Carbon storage, water quality, biodiversity, and energy control are all affected by how we manage our forests.

Bordercraft source our hardwood from North America and Canada. Paramount to our selection is the quality of the timber; we simply couldn’t make our worktops to the quality we demand if the timber we received was not good enough. Thankfully the high quality North American timber we import is also sustainable; with nearly a two to one ratio of adult tree growth to removal. In the last sixty years the U.S hardwood inventory has nearly doubled. The US timber industry is constantly and effectively looking for ways to improve and manage their hardwood forest stock and remain open and transparent in how they do this.

We believe this makes timber sourced from North America the right choice for our hardwood products.

About the Author.

Jon Buck

Jon has been managing director at Bordercraft for 19 years. During this time he has overseen projects from a single drawer front for a local customer through to a complete Oak panelled office for a multi-national corporation in Japan, as well as everything in between! Coming from a retail background, Jon has a keen eye for detail and is committed to ensuring every order lives up to our impeccable standards. In his spare time Jon is a keen runner and loves travel and red wine in equal measures.